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Full text of "War-time financial problems"

THE  EVILS   OF BORROWING       117

every citizen who has imagination enough to con-
ceive what our fighting men are doing for us and
how supreme is our duty to do everything to relieve
them from any other burden except those which the
war compels them to face. There is also the fact
that many members of our uninstructed industrial
population believe that the richer classes are growing
richer owing to the war, and battening on the pro-
ceeds of the loans. I do not think that this is true ;
on the contrary, I believe that the war has brought
a considerable shifting of buying power from the
well-to-do classes to the manual workers. Never-
theless, in these times misconceptions are awkwardly
active for evil. The well-to-do classes as a whole
are not really benefited by having their future
incomes pledged in order to meet the future debt
charge, and if, at the same time, they are believed
to be acquiring the right to wealth, which wealth
they will have themselves to provide, the fatuity of
the borrowing policy becomes more manifest. For
these reasons it is sincerely to be hoped that our
next fiscal year will be marked by a much higher
revenue from taxation, a considerable decrease in
expenditure, and a consequently great improvement
in the proportion of war's cost met out of revenue,
on what has been done in the past year. At our
present rate of taxation we are not nearly meeting,
out of permanent taxes, the sum which will be
needed when the war is over for peace expenditure
on the inevitably higher scale, pensions, and interest
and sinking fund on war debt.